Imagination in the Science of Fantasy


Imagination, that ethereal realm where the ordinary transcends into the extraordinary, has long fascinated both psychology and philosophy. These disciplines are a fabric of science and fantasy which is an elusive part of the human mind.


The profound role imagination plays in shaping our cognitive landscape.

1. Imagination as Core Operating System:

  •  Imagination is not a mere peripheral feature of cognition or a domain reserved for aesthetic pursuits. It is, in fact, the core operating system of human cognition. Imagine it as the intricate machinery that powers our sense-making activities.
  •  This cognitive capacity extends beyond fanciful daydreams; it is the very fabric of how we perceive, reason, and understand the world around us.

2. Embodied Cognition:

  •   Imagination is not a disembodied mental exercise—it is deeply intertwined with our physical being. Embodied cognition posits that our imagination is rooted in bodily experiences, emotions, and sensory perceptions.
  •    When we imagine, we don't merely conjure abstract mental images; we engage our entire sensorium—the way our bodies move, the sensations we feel, and the emotions that color our thoughts.

3. Two Cultures Unification:

  •    The divide between the humanities and the sciences has persisted for decades. Yet, imagination holds the potential to bridge this gap.
  •     The literal, logical, and scientific mind—the outlier—is not necessarily the paradigm of human sense-making. Instead, it is the mythopoetic, the imaginative, that shapes our thinking.
  •    By acknowledging the vast imaginative aspects of the mind, we can create a field of imagination studies or Phantasia science. This unification rescues the humanities from identity-centric tunnel vision and infuses humility into scientific inquiry.

4. From Freud to Embodied Cognition:

  •    Psychology has long explored the submerged irrational aspects of the mind, from Freud to Jung and beyond. These non-linguistic experiences—emotions, associations—are not mere aberrations; they influence our rational thought.
  •    Philosophy, too, has its champions of the irrational mind. Analytic philosophy, while linguistically focused, missed the intentional nature of nonlinguistic experiences.
  •    The recent resurgence of embodied and enactive cognition has breathed new life into understanding imagination as a holistic, embodied process.

In this dance between reason and trance, imagination emerges as our guide—a compass pointing toward the uncharted territories of understanding. These realms, not as separate disciplines, but as partners in unraveling the mysteries of the human mind.

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